Hey, everyone! It has been a little while since I’ve run a crowdfunding spotlight, hasn’t it? Well, I was tagged in a post of Facebook, and when I read what it was about, I knew I needed to do something to help get the word out. You see, Crow Cutter is an upcoming film that combines two things that are important to me: pro wrestling, and Asperger’s.
As per the official description, the basis of the story is this:
‘An autistic teenager struggles to find his individuality and his father’s respect in the world of pro wrestling.’
Adam is a 16-year-old with Aspergers, whose father is a former world champion wrestler, who is now washed up and now promoting a small promotion to make ends meet and keep his family home. The father, known as Scott, can’t seem to cope with
the fact that Adam has this condition, so he trains Adam to become a world champion caliber wrestler like him. But for Adam, he wants to be a wrestler that suits his personality called Adam Crow. But because of Scott’s inability to see Adam as what he really is, he pushes him harder to become what he wants him to be. This pushes Adam to the point of him wanting to quit wrestling altogether. On the day that Adam is to make his debut against another wrestler his age, Adam doesn’t turn up and Scott looks for
him. Scott finds Adam in a nearby park and it’s there that Scott realizes that Adam can’t be this caliber of wrestler because of his condition and allows him to be Adam Crow. The film ends with Adam about to make his entrance with this new gimmick with hopes of becoming the first wrestling superstar with a learning disability.
So, is this a far-fetched concept? No, actually. There has been some talk about amateur wrestling being good for those with autism. On top of that, Brian Zane, who not only hosts a successful wrestling YouTube channel but also works for ROH and plays a heel manager on the indies, has Asperger’s.
The thing is, Autism is a very complex thing. Assuming Crow Cutter deals with this well, it has a chance to really help raise some awareness. That opportunity is one I’m definitely behind! So, check out the details from the press release below and head on over to the IndieGoGo campaign if you want to support the project!
Fighting for Autism Awareness: When it came to choosing a subject to focus the film on, we wanted it to be something that’s close to our hearts. We chose the subject of a young boy on the Autistic Spectrum, because the director of our short film, James Short, was diagnosed with Asperger’s in September 2001. He understands the condition from the inside out, therefore as a group, we felt that this film could work as a platform for the growth and understanding of living on the Spectrum.
Creative Freedom vs Creative Restraint: The team has put in research into today’s wrestling world, watching hours of wrestling content from WWE to going to independent
shows near where we are living. And we figured out that the main argument point that everyone is talking about is whether having Creative Freedom or Restraint is good for wrestlers. In the past few months, we have seen wrestlers upset with how their characters are being treated, even some leaving companies and jumping ship to others to have that freedom. One good example we found was with Jon Moxley (formally known as Dean Ambrose in WWE) and how he wasn’t treated right by WWE Creative and left for AEW.
JAMES SHORT – CO WRITER AND DIRECTOR
James is a filmmaker, specializing in Directing and Cinematography. Having worked on college & university films for almost 5 years, he is now ready to direct his most ambitious project yet. James also brings in his experience watching and observing professional wrestling, which he uses to his effect not only in this project but on his wrestling blog called Springboard.
TAYLOR YOUNG – PRODUCER
Taylor will help sort out all the logistics of this production, from making sure we are all well fed to making sure our ring is ready to go for our big fight scenes! Taylor has loads of experience in filmmaking, specializing in music videos and promo films, etc. and owns On My Way Productions, the other production company in this project.
KAYLEIGH KEMP – PRODUCER AND ART DIRECTOR
Kayleigh will put double the effort in not only helping Taylor with producing, mostly in the casting and location side of things but help bring the film it’s color and design value.
We are hoping this to be a modern-day, gritty setting so that would mean very grim, beige colors.
HENRY KUROWSKI – DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Henry will liaise with James, the Director, to see what sort of the cinematic style would fit our final film, taking inspiration from different films and taking camera movements, angles, and color schemes to effect when doing the shot list.
CHARLIE WIGMORE – CAMERA OPERATOR
Charlie is Henry’s second in command and will be there to operate the camera to Henry’s specific instructions. Mostly been an editor for most of his filmmaking career, Charlie is looking for the next step in filmmaking and hopes that Crow Cutter can be that stepping stone into the next steps on his career.
LOIS HALBERT – PEARCE – PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Lois will bring all of Kayleigh’s artistic visions together. Designing sets, bringing in props and making costumes. Since we are a wrestling film, Lois has done loads of research into wrestling gear and has taken inspiration from professional wrestling stars like WWE’s Aleister Black and Darby Allin from All Elite Wrestling.
TOBY WEST – CO WRITER AND EDITOR
Not only will Toby assist James in writing the script of Crow Cutter, but he will also head up post-production and bring everything together in the final film. Toby has adequate experience behind the editing suite, devoting 5 years of his life to the art of post-production. He has also worked with James in previous projects like ‘Loving You’ and ‘Undelivered’ to name a few.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When are you going to film this?
We will have everything ready to go for production in March 2020
When is this film going to be released to the general public?
Once this film is submitted for grading, we want to go on a lengthy film festival run throughout the summer, so we are aiming for a general release in September 2020.
How are you going to get an actual wrestling ring to film with?
We have contacted wrestling companies near to us and we are glad to say that we are collaborating with KAPOW Wrestling as they will let us use their ring to film all and any wrestling scenes we intend to have. For more info about KAPOW Wrestling, check out their website: http://www.kapowwrestling.co.uk/
Where is the film mostly going to be based?
The Film will mostly be based in Southampton, Hampshire, UK.
Other than the crowdfunder, how will you raise money?
Not only do we have a grant from our university, but we are also doing some fundraising events across Southampton to get the money we need, from WWE PPV Watchalongs to Marathon Runs.
What film equipment will you use?
Our University has some high tier, industry-standard film equipment and we all have just learned how to use the Arri Alexa Mini and we hope to use that to the best of our abilities.
Are you going to use real wrestlers for the fights?
That is the plan, after mulling around the ethics of making this film, we hope to get wrestlers as stunt performers or actors with combat training to make our lives easier.
For your film festival run, where are you hoping to send this to?
Our main goal is to get this film into consideration for an award at the Student Academy Awards, which would mean a lengthy run, taking it to some of the elite film festivals from the UK and abroad.
What sort of impact do you want this film to achieve?
We want this film to achieve the impact in three different ways: Bringing awareness to those with Autism, Making a passion project for our director and most of all, to get a university degree at the end.
What are the risks of doing a film like this?
There are many risks of making a film of this calibre, including:
1. About the disability being portrayed in the film.
2. Making sure actors portray the characters in a respectful manner.
3. Making sure all wrestling sequences are at the safest grade possible, so
no real-life injuries occur.
4. Making sure we film in the set budget we set out in pre-production.
5. Making sure all locations, sets and props are confirmed so we can film
smoothly and not take away from our budget.
6. Making sure all crew and actors are well fed and looked after during
We understand all of the risks shown here and more and have made several steps in order to help us not go through them, from getting help from actual wrestlers to be stunt co-ordinators to stretching out filming dates so cast, and crew can have rest days.